Parents sat facing away from child who is looking upset

Programme developed to reduce impact of parent conflict

Find out more about the Healthy Relationships programme.

Northumberland County Council has developed a programme to help reduce the impact parent conflict has on children, following funding received from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The £39m national programme has two strands; ensuring proven interventions are more widely available to improve children’s outcomes; and supporting local areas to embed parental conflict support in wider services for children.

The Early Intervention Foundation reports that the impact of parental conflict on children can have both immediate and long-term effects including behavioural difficulties, symptoms of withdrawal, sadness and shyness, academic problems, and lower employability and substance abuse in later life.

The county council worked with parents in Northumberland to find out what they believe a healthy relationship looks like, and to develop a Parental Relationship Scale, which helps map out differences between parental conflict and domestic abuse.

Cllr Wayne Daley, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council and cabinet member for children’s services, said: “Relationship problems between parents or carers are common. It is important to get people talking about parental conflict to help eliminate the stigma attached.

“We know that everyone goes through tough times in their relationships, whether they’re together or separated. We want to raise awareness of the impact this can have on children and ensure people understand the difference between conflict and domestic abuse.

“Support is available to improve your relationship so that you and your child can thrive.”

Find out more about the Healthy Relationships programme.

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